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Con Sol - first report?

Bob Dobalina Dec 6, 2007 06:47 AM

Ducked in for a trial run - the fire behind the bar was inviting, although the room was a little chilly - we were the only diners there, although there was a couple at the bar just having drinks.

Tried a Sagres Portuguese beer - very hoppy, sweet, curious.
My GF had a class of red wine - it was to me pretty icky - twinges of Mani.

Started with polpo guisada - stewed octopus with potatoes - I liked the taste - the octopi were plenty tender, but still had a nice chew. Generous app serving for $6.

For dinner, I had bacalao asado, which was a decent portion of cod, fried I think? with six whole roasted red potatoes and a couple of pieces of grilled sweet peppers. The cod was pretty chewy, which I sort of enjoyed, but not being a bacalao expert, I can't really say if this was prepared properly. I cleaned my plate, but again, not sure what that indicates. ;)

My GF had a special of chicken with ham and mushrooms, with sides of Portu-style fried sliced potatoes and a generous serving of rice. She seemed to enjoy it - two boneless chicken breasts - good flavor - piggy that I am, I ate the other one from the take-home bag during Project Runway. The rice had sort of a "make-a-risotto-at-home" kit sort of taste, but it was still ok.

The host, who could not have been nicer, suggested a homemade flan, along with a couple of other desserts, but wanting coffee with it, we declined when he explained that the espresso maker was going to take a while to warm up.

It's a cozy room - a little drafty on this cold night - You always feel a little sad for the place being the only patrons on such a night.

In terms of price, it's right on - nothing more than $13 or $14 for entrees - apps all in the $6-8 range. Lots of pork and clam dishes which might have been better. GF admits that she is not crazy about Portugeuse food, so hard to gauge, but I was satisfied. There was nothing bad...everything was fine. Give it a shot...would like to hear other reviews, esp. when the house has a few more people motivating the back.

Con Sol is on Broadway in Cambridge, just past the Kendall Sq. intersection on the right, next to a gas station, in the old old Atasca space.

  1. Lgalen Jun 13, 2008 07:15 PM

    We went tonight, and it was empty, except for us. Maybe we were there too early--trying to eat before we caught the early show at Kendall. food was okay, not WONDERFUL, although the soups (my garlic, SO's kale) were very good. We were bummed to experience the same story regarding coffee. The waiter brought out our flan and then informed us about the lack of coffee. We might have enjoyed the flan more if we had the "joe" to go with it.

    1. d
      DanInCambridge Dec 6, 2007 09:12 AM

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/439770

      That was my report back in september.
      It is always sad seeing it empty everytime I drive by.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DanInCambridge
        Bob Dobalina Dec 6, 2007 09:14 AM

        Ah, thanks man. Missed that on my board search.

        1. re: DanInCambridge
          yumyum Dec 6, 2007 09:40 AM

          Nice first "get" Dan. I missed your post too. Don't let that sneaky Bob Dob steal your thunder.

        2. itaunas Dec 6, 2007 08:14 AM

          Thanks for the report! There were a couple of posts pre-beer/wine and we have tried, but had a couple of false starts making it there. A few comments: if the wine was really Manischewitz-sweet, are you certain they didn't serve you something like the Brazilian Cancao? If they have Bacalhau a lagareiro that would be served with smashed garlic potatoes and drizzed with olive oil, restaurants sometimes serve the same exact salt cod with just boiled potatoes with a different name (like assado), but go for the largareiro. Sagres branca is a pretty basic lager, usually served quite cold (less hoppy than something like harp). If it was a darker/maltier beer, they might have served you the bohemia which sagres has been pushing here as a more micro-style beer. Any idea if they serve Molotov/Molotof as a dessert (Sunset has my favorite of this locally, but J+J's has a good very different take on it)?

          3 Replies
          1. re: itaunas
            Bob Dobalina Dec 6, 2007 09:00 AM

            Not sure what kind of red wine was served. Entirely possible it could have been Cancao. We were not offered a type of red wine and there were no wines by the glass listed on the beverage list, only whole bottles, which I think were really inexpensive. I should have paid more attention, but I saw the unfamiliar beer brand and closed the book. Bad, chowhound...bad! I think the Sagres was the basic lager - very light in color. I haven't had a Harp in ages - maybe I am mistaking the hops taste for something else.

            I seem to recall that the menu did offer the lagareiro style - I actually rather liked my whole boiled potatoes, which were fragrant of garlic and the host suggested drizzling some olive oil. But the smashed spuds sound great.

            The desserts offered were the flan, a raspberry almond torte and .... can't remember the middle one of the three - verbal dessert menu from the host. I am pretty sure molotov was not it. What exactly is that? Sounds like it is ON FIRE?!

            1. re: Bob Dobalina
              itaunas Dec 6, 2007 10:02 AM

              I almost disclaimed Molotof with "hint: its not flaming." Molotof is a portuguese desert made with egg whites, sort of a soft meringue, hinted with an orange liquor. Sunset's is served as a pudding and basic, J+J's cooks it in a flan mold and serves slices. Its a nice mix-up to most portuguese egg sweets and I like it after dinner. For some reason, Portuguese restaurants don't explain it on the menu, just put the word "molotof/v" and Americans rarely get past the ubiquitous flan. Flaming I think is left for chourico a bombeiro

              Cancao doesn't list exactly what grapes they use (just "vinho da mesa (table wine)" made with "(red) vinifera", but tastes quite close to concord grape. "Vinho tinto suave" would mean a sweet wine, so you could insist on something "seco." There is Portuguese wine grape, which is reminiscent of concord and there is a Californian winery that makes a wine based on that (available at 660 liquors) which is fermented dry but still gives a very fruity mouth feel. Not exactly my cup of tea but better than Cancao.

              BTW, someone did post about Con Sol before Dan, but I will leave that to the chowhound search experts to find.

              1. re: itaunas
                Bob Dobalina Dec 6, 2007 10:57 AM

                I really don't like flan so I will keep my eyes open for this treat. Thanks, man.

          2. MC Slim JB Dec 6, 2007 07:19 AM

            Nice report! I've been meaning to get here for ages. Sound pretty Portuguese through and through, despite the positioning as "Iberian". One question: what does "twinges of Mani" mean? Icky-sweet as in Manischewitz?

            1 Reply
            1. re: MC Slim JB
              Bob Dobalina Dec 6, 2007 07:31 AM

              Bulls-eye.

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